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The City of Shaker Heights owns the trees on the treelawn and, in most areas of Shaker, also owns the treelawn as public right-of-way.
It is the resident's responsibility to maintain the treelawn. Day to day activities such as watering and raking leaves are the homeowner's responsibility as is the care of the grass on the treelawn.
It is the City’s responsibility to maintain the trees on the treelawn, but residents are partners with the City when a new tree is planted. The City sends the resident a letter explaining how to help maintain the tree by refilling the green plastic reservoir bag with water.
Funds for the maintenance and purchase of new treelawn trees come from the Tree Assessment included in your annual property taxes.
Yes! When trees are scheduled for replacement, homeowners are notified approximately two months prior to the planting of a tree. Upon notification, homeowners may request a larger caliper tree by completing a Resident Upgrade Form. The completed form and payment (current charges are listed on the form) should be returned to the Public Works Department. Tree plantings are only scheduled for spring and fall. Email Public Works or call 216-491-1490 for more information.
Email Charles Orlowski, the Superintendent of Forestry or call at 216-491-1490.
As long as the limb is not on private property the Department can remove it. If a limb is on a wire, visit Report a Tree Problem online to report the issue directly to First Energy, or call First Energy customer service at 800-589-3101 from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wood chips are available year-round, free of charge and in any amount, at the Canoe Club on South Park Boulevard, near the intersection with Larchmere Boulevard. Residents must bring their own containers and shovels. Call Public Works at 216-491-1490 for more information.
To insure trees are healthy and long lived, proper mulching is extremely important. By following simple mulching guidelines, you will help to minimize injury to the tree trunk and roots, maintain soil moisture, control weeds, and improve soil quality, all of which will extend the life of the tree. However, too much mulch around a tree can be detrimental. Download the City's mulching guidelines (PDF) for guidance.
Please talk to your neighbor. This is a private issue between you and your neighbor. The City has no legal authority here, unless the tree is dead or diseased.
Tree maintenance, like pruning and trimming, play an important role in the healthy growth of trees, including street trees. While trimming can at times appear dramatic, it is a beneficial practice that will ensure the health of our City’s urban forest for years to come.
The Shaker Heights Forestry Department performs several different types of tree pruning/trimming, ranging from Young Tree Training, to pruning storm damaged or obstructing limbs, to full tree trimming.
Young Tree Training develops the structure of the tree to ensure healthy growth. This training involves trimming young trees (typically 2-3 years old) to creating a central leader (trunk) in the tree, pruning crossing or weakly attached limbs, and removing low limbs that grow over the road or sidewalk. Young Tree Training typically involves trees from two to eight inches in diameter.
Another important maintenance activity involves pruning out storm damaged limbs, which are typically broken, and removing low limbs that may be obstructing objects such as a traffic sign or traffic signal. This is considered a minimal form of pruning. Other types of minimal pruning include removing low hanging limbs impeding a roadway or sidewalk.
The next type of tree trimming involves a partial trim of the entire tree. This work includes pruning dead wood or hazardous limbs from the tree. This work is not a complete trim, but a general maintenance prune of the tree.
In general, minimal and partial pruning is done during the summer months.
Complete Tree Trimming means pruning the entire tree. This pruning is typically completed during the winter months, while crews are available and not busy with warm-weather tasks.
Typically City crews will perform Complete Tree Trimming on a street scheduled for infrastructure improvements, including repaving. This ensures those trees will not be damaged by the heavy equipment required for infrastructure improvements. Please note that a 14 foot overhead clearance for a roadway is a standard height for large trucks (see photo).
Complete Tree Trimming involves:
All pruning work performed by the Forestry crews follow industry standards and best practices. Crews are supervised by either the City’s Forester or the Labor Crew Leader, both ISA Certified Arborists.
Pruning along electric lines, whether on the street or in residential backyards, is managed by First Energy as part of its line clearance program. This program is mandated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in order to maintain transmission lines and help prevent outages from downed limbs and trees. First Energy selects and oversees the contractors for this line clearance work. Residents whose properties are scheduled for line clearance pruning will receive a door hanger from First Energy before the work starts. Residents with questions or concerns about line clearance work should contact First Energy’s Customer Service line at 1-800-589-3101.
Read "Caring for Our Urban Forest," a feature about how the City cares for its tens of thousands of street trees, in the spring 2022 issue of Shaker Life.